WATCH: Crews Demolish Remaining Bird Creek Bridge

Sunday, May 29th 2016, 7:50 am
By: Amy Slanchik

The final bridge over Bird Creek was demolished Sunday morning as part of a $45 million project to widen Highway 169.

The southbound bridge collapsed after an implosion in December; Sunday the northbound side came down.

You didn't have to be on the highway to experience the blast; but for some, the sound of the explosion was the sound of losing something special.

"It's been there as long as I can remember. It's too bad they couldn't have rebuilt it just to keep it. It was part of Owasso," Steve Mohney said.

David Todd said, "It's the gateway to Owasso, is the way I always looked at it, and now it's gone."

All 590,000 pounds of it, gone; ODOT said the bridge was built in 1960 and is now considered structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.

5/28/2016 Related Story: Implosion To Remove Remaining Truss Bridge Over To Bird Creek

They said about 60,000 drivers drove over Bird Creek every day, and the narrow bridge was hit several times.

But now, with the bridge in the creek below, crews have a lot of work to do.

They said it'll take about two weeks to clean everything up, and all the steel and concrete will be recycled.

ODOT said it'll take about a year to finish the project; making what Todd called the "Gateway to Owasso" a little wider, with a total of six lanes on 169.

"That's the silver lining, is the better traffic and ease in and out of the city in the morning and the evening," he said.

That's something Aslyn O’Donnell is also looking forward to.

"I travel every day, yep, Sapulpa and back, every day," she said.

The northbound bridge was the final bridge of eight to be removed for the project. The demolition crew used 13.5 pounds of explosives placed inside copper pipes for the detonation.

12/20/2015 Related Story: WATCH NOW: Bird Creek Bridge Implosion Near Owasso

Crews said the explosives were developed by NASA to separate the solid rocket boosters on space shuttles, but Sunday they were used to create a new beginning for the highway.

 "I'm looking forward to it being smooth sailing, but it is sad to see 'em go," O’Donnell said.

 ODOT said the project should be done and all six lanes back open by next spring.